Rabin Hears Views of Kibbutz ‘doves’
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Rabin Hears Views of Kibbutz ‘doves’

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Premier Yitzhak Rabin is lending an ear to Israeli “doves.” He met with a group of them at his office here yesterday. All hailed from various kibbutz movements and represented the “Inter-Movement Discussion Group on the Palestinian Question.” Last week the Premier met with a group of religious “doves.” Political observers believe the purpose of these meetings is to impress on the public the fact that neither the kibbutz movement nor the religious community in Israel was uniformly or even mainly “hawkish” in outlook.

The visitors included members of Ichud Hakibbutzim VeHakvutzot, which is Mapai-oriented; Hakibbutz Hameuchad, the movement of the Labor Party’s Achdut Avoda wing; Hakibbutz Haartzi, the Mapam kibbutz movement and Hakibbutz Hadati, the religious kibbutz movement. Danny Zamir, of the Mapam group, said at a press conference after the meeting that Rabin had stressed his readiness for territorial compromises on all fronts and to negotiate a full peace or further interim accords. But he also stressed that any agreement involving withdrawals from the West Bank would have to be ratified by Israeli voters in prior elections.

Zamir and other spokesmen said the group was satisfied with the “clarifications” they received from the Premier on some points but not on others. While he appeared to favor settlements only in the sparsely populated areas of the administered territories, he had no satisfactory explanation for the establishment of Katif, a new settlement “right in the heart of the Gaza Strip,” they said.

Efraim Tzur of the Kibbutz Hameuchad, said the “hawks” constituted a small minority in his movement. Nevertheless, “doves” are reluctant to force the issue of settlements in policy-making forums for fear of splitting the movement. He acknowledged that the same motive caused the government to blur its policies.


Meanwhile, Cabinet “doves” are apparently becoming restless over the government’s failure to act on the Gush Emunim squatters at Kadum in Samaria. The Cabinet decided three weeks ago that the illegal settlers would be offered an alternative site and would be removed from Kadum, by force if necessary, if they rejected the offer.

But the ministerial settlement committee which was to have proposed an alternative site has not yet met. Asked by Health Minister Victor Shemtov of Mapam at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting if anything has been done to implement the government’s decision, Rabin replied that there was no rush. He said the Cabinet agreed when it made its decision May 9 that a number of weeks would be required to implement it. This period has not yet expired, the Premier said.

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